Decorative finishing panels

A very effective way to radically change everything in an apartment in a short time and without dirt is decorative finishing panels. They are more commonly referred to as wall panels, although they are also excellent for ceiling decoration. They appeared on the Russian market about eight years ago. Now this progressive material is used to decorate both offices and apartments..

What are they

The first kind – stacked rack panels, externally resembling lining, which are attached to the wall with clamps (fastening brackets), have a length of 0.9 to 3 meters, a width of 13.5 to 30 cm, a thickness of 8 to 12 mm. And on the side of each panel is a spike (protrusion) and a groove (recess). Such panels are connected to each other by inserting a spike into a groove. The price for this type of panels is from 3 to 20 USD / sq.m.

The second kind – stacked tile panels. Attached in the same way as rack and pinion. But they look a little different: these are square-shaped tiles. Stacked tile panels are good because they can be used to lay out a mosaic on the wall, combining panels with different patterns and textures in a checkerboard pattern. The most “popular” sizes of tiled panels: from 30 x 30 cm to 98 x 98 cm. Prices – from 5 to 50 USD / sq.m.

The third kind – sheet panels. They look like a large piece of plywood, only with a pattern. “Sheets” are attached to the wall with nails and (or) glue, or “planted” on the crate. The joints are sealed with a sealant or covered with plastic slats. These panels are much larger than type-setting ones (their dimensions are mainly 1.22 x 2.44 m, and their thickness is from 3 to 6 mm). The price of sheet panels ranges from $ 14 to $ 30 / sq.m.

What are they made of?

Finishing panels are made of different materials: natural wood, chipboard (particle board), fiberboard (fiberboard), PVC (polyvinyl chloride, or more simply – plastic).

Chipboard Are wood chips glued with formaldehyde resins and various adhesives and pressed under high pressure. When choosing chipboard panels, you need to be extremely careful: formaldehyde releases harmful substances, especially during combustion. It is better to buy panels glued with lignin (a natural substance that is part of wood). Chipboard is a material that crumbles easily and is “afraid” of water. Therefore, chipboard panels cannot be fixed in damp rooms – in a bathroom, for example. It is also impossible to decorate the balcony with them: they will not withstand changes in temperature and humidity, they will crumble.

Panels from Fiberboard, like chipboard, they have a wood base. They only make them differently: wood chips are broken into fibers, moistened, and pressed. The resulting slabs are cut to the desired size and a decorative coating is applied to them. Compared to chipboard, this material is more environmentally friendly. But in the event of a fire, fiberboard, as well as particleboard, burns (at a temperature of +250 ° C). But unlike chipboard, fiberboard panels are not afraid of wet rooms, so they are often used to decorate bathrooms. But all the same, it is undesirable to scrub these panels with water, and even more so with washing powder..

Pvc – a universal polymer from which water pipes, bottles for drinking water and disposable syringes are made. PVC panels are made like this: the plastic “dough” is kneaded, then it is placed in a special machine – an extruder. Long plastic “spaghetti” come out of it. They are cut into 2.5 – 6 m pieces and carefully examined for marriage. Selected panels are colored with organic dyes, drawing by printing. They are very light, much lighter than wooden ones. There are no pores on the surface of the plastic panels, in which microbes usually “nest”. Due to these properties, they are approved for use in residential premises..

How do they look

The “individuality” of the decorative panels is given by the outer shell (the coating that is applied to the base). It is she who creates a variety of colors and textures..

One of the most common types of coatings is laminate, that is, a film depicting textures of various types of wood (oak, pine, cherry, beech, ash, etc.), stone (marble, granite, etc.), bold fantasy colors … Such a film does not fade, is resistant to moisture (so that the panels with a film coating can be safely wiped with a wet cloth), does not succumb to dirt and bleach, and is not afraid of mechanical damage. I will add that the film is matte and glossy..

There are veneered panels, that is, covered with veneer (this is such a thin layer of wood, glued to chipboard or fiberboard by the “hot press” method). Veneer panels are more expensive than laminated panels because wood is a natural material. Accordingly, the room decorated by them will look more solid..

Decorative panels are available not only with a flat smooth surface, but also with embossing. If you take a closer look at the embossed panels, or even touch them, you will see for yourself that the surface of raw stone or brickwork is reproduced as real. Such panels are often made “under the tiles”. And some panels generally look like they are easily confused with wallpaper..

Mirrored panels made of acrylic and glass are amazing. They are not afraid of water, high and low temperatures, much stronger than glass, but at the same time very light. They can be tinted and even holographic (“shimmery”). They can be painted as you want, using spray guns, brushes, rollers. The main thing is that the paints you use can be applied to the acrylic surface..

In the store, the eyes light up from the choice when you see how the most diverse panels made in the USA, Canada, Germany, Poland and Russia are lined up. And mirrored, and colored, and striped, and ribbed, and with an embossed pattern, and as if composed of small pieces of multi-colored glass. But our people, as sellers complain, are afraid to experiment with new colors and textures. They choose basically the same thing: standard panels for ash, oak, pine, maple,

How do they attach

Above, we said a little about how typesetting rack, typesetting tiled, sheet panels are attached. The latter in rooms with low humidity can be glued directly to the wall. This requires a neutral silicone or so-called acrylic adhesive. But in this case, the wall must be flat and dry..

In rooms with curved walls, it is better to fasten the panels to the lathing with nails, screws with flat heads, a construction stapler or the same glue. For those who do not know: the crate is wooden blocks that are screwed to the wall at a distance of 40-60 cm from each other. They are convenient in that no preliminary wall treatment, careful alignment is required.

For the bathroom, fiberboard and PVC panels are suitable, and where the shower is attached, it is better to install PVC or moisture-resistant fiberboard panels.

When the panels are already attached to the wall, you will see the inevitable roughness and inconsistencies, sticking out screws. Here corners, skirting boards and cornices, which companies produce specifically to match the color of the panels, will come in handy. With their help, you can, by the way, not only cover the joint between the wall and floor, floor and ceiling, but also hide the electrical or telephone wires.

They can be fastened vertically, horizontally, at an angle and “herringbone”, by combining the colors and widths of slats and tiles. It usually takes two to three days to finish a small apartment. You can purchase a whole program of home furnishings, which, in addition to panels, contains various decorative inserts, for example, gold or mirrors, as well as halogen lamps. With the help of professionals, an unexpected combination of panels of different texture and color can give any room a unique individuality.

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